Marvel's Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson has added her voice to the ongoing Martin Scorsese vs. Marvel Studios debate. Johansson has been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since debuting as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 in 2010. She'll celebrate her tenth year playing the character with her first headlining film in 2020. Scorsese compared Marvel movies to theme park attractions while promoting his latest film, The Irishman. Johannson responded to those comments during The Hollywood Reporter's drama actress roundtable. “ “There's certainly a place for all kinds of cinema right now,” Johansson says. “People absorb content in so many different ways. I actually didn't totally understand that statement, because I guess I needed some insight as to what it meant exactly. Because to me it seemed a little old-fashioned. But somebody pointed out to me that perhaps what the statement meant was that there's no room for smaller films, because the cinema is taken up by these enormous blockbusters, and smaller movies don't have a chance at the theater, which I hadn't actually considered and think is a valid point."
Johansson played Black Widow in this year's Avengers: Endgame, the highest-grossing film of all time. But she also appeared in two smaller, critically-acclaimed films, Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story. Having been on both sides of that divide, Johansson sees change happening, but doesn't think that means smaller films will cease to exist.
"But I also feel like there's sort of this shift in how people watch stuff and there's all these platforms for different kinds of [content]," she says. "Now there's movies and shows and art films and all kinds of stuff getting made that you can watch in all these different ways, and I just feel like it's changing. It doesn't mean it's going away."
Marvel Studios' head Kevin Feige finally broke his silence in regard to Scorsese's criticisms. “I think it's unfortunate," Feige said on a podcast. "I think myself and everybody that works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theater full of people... I think it's fun for us to take our success and use it to take risks and go in different places. Everybody has a different definition of cinema. Everybody has a different definition of art. Everybody has a different definition of risk. Some people don't think it's cinema. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is entitled to repeat that opinion. Everyone is entitled to write op-eds about that opinion. And I look forward to what will happen next. But in the meantime, we're going to keep making movies."
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Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk are also in the works for Disney+.